This is the heroic moment a defiant female shopkeeper grabbed a knife-wielding robber – and DRAGGED him out of her shop.
The brave woman, in her 50s, was working behind the counter when hoodie-wearing Edward Stevenson pulled a blade on her.
But instead of handing over cash the shop-owner grabbed him by the hands and dragged him round the store.
The victim, who does not wish to be named, pulled him all the way to the door and threw him out before defiantly slamming the door.
Stevenson, 41, entered Lanhydrock Stores, Plymouth, at around 7pm on March 30, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
The Lanhydrock Stores shopkeeper, in her personal impact statement, revealed she worked seven days a week in her store, frequently working alone.
She said she saw Stevenson wielding a knife her first emotion was “pure shock and instant fear”.
She said: “Something inside me kicked in, something I partly regret now.
“I subconsciously thought ‘why should you steal my hard earned money’, the time I have to spend away from my family to get it. I won’t let you take what little I have in my till.
“I grabbed him. I don’t know where my strength came from, but I grabbed his wrists and started pulling him out of my pride and joy – my shop.
“He was not going to take from me and my family.
“Was I mad grabbing a man with a knife? Absolutely – he could have lashed out. He could have panicked and stabbed me.
“He could have killed me. My children would have had no mother and my husband would have lost his wife. Was it really worth it? No.”
Prosecutor Alistair Verheijen told the court how the victim had been working from 7.30am and was due to finish at 8pm.
He said the woman saw Stevenson holding a “very sharp” knife, demanding she “empty the til” five times, but fearing she would be locked in the stock room, she wrestled him.
The court was then shown the store’s CCTV footage which captured the dramatic act.
Mr Verheijen said: “She thought she was going to be stabbed. As it was she received a cut to her left ring finger.”
Dimwitted Stevenson immediately headed to the Clifton Wine Stores, Plymouth, where he entered and again demanded #20.
The court heard the shop worker initially joked “the last guy that said that got seven years” but when Stevenson pulled out his knife and said “I don’t give a ****” the shop worker handed over #20.
When Stevenson saw the til had more money, he demanded another #40, adding “don’t **** about mate”.
He left the store but was arrested after officers identified him.
The brave victim who fought him revealed she had suffered delayed shock and was forced to close early for a number of following days out of fear.
She said she had begun to see Stevenson in her dreams and her regular customers “holding out a knife at me rather than handing out money. Was I losing my mind? I feel like my life has been taken away from me.”
In mitigation, Ali Rafati said Stevenson extended his “deepest apologies” to his two victims, adding Stevenson’s 25-year-long addiction had led him to rob the premises.
In addition to admitting the attempted robbery and the robbery, Stevenson pleaded guilty to two breaches of an Antisocial Behaviour Order imposed in August 2014, which banned him from entering Mutley Plain and two counts of possessing a bladed article in public.
Recorder John Williams said the female shopkeeper had shown “remarkable courage” in tackling the armed man who had targeted “her pride and joy”.
He sentenced Stevenson, of Plymouth, to three years for the robbery, one year for the attempted robbery to run concurrently.
He also handed him 30 months for the two counts of possessing a knife to run consecutively and one year for the ASBO breaches, to run concurrently, totalling five and a half years.
Lead investigator, Det Con Zara Payne said: “Stevenson is now paying the price for his actions.
“However, he is fortunate in some ways that he is not paying a much higher price. He could’ve fatally hurt both of his victims, or himself, all for the sake of a few pounds.
“The impact this has had on his victims has been huge.”